The Laguna is federally recognized Native American tribe of the Pueblo people in west-central New Mexico, USA. The name, Laguna, is Spanish (meaning "small lake") and derives from the lake located on their reservation. The nearby Acoma Pueblo and Pueblo of Laguna have many ties, including location, language and a shared high school.
Their reservation lies in parts of four counties and includes the six villages of Encinal, Laguna, Mesita, Paguate, Paraje and Seama. Visible in this photograph is the San Jose Mission, which was built in 1699 and dedicated to Saint Joseph. San Jose is famous for its interior decoration. Original Laguna art and rare early Spanish paintings adorn the walls and altar. The ornately carved wooden doors welcome visitors year round. Mural in red, green, yellow, and black decorate the earthen walls. The ceiling above the sanctuary is painted with Laguna symbols of a rainbow, the sun, moon, and stars. The large animal skin which covers the altar contains an abundance of multi-colored designs. All the woodwork in the mission is elaborately carved, including the vigas of the latticed ceiling. A flight of steep, narrow steps leads to the choir loft and the small window, which provides for a fine view of the pueblo below.